Beings are not limited to people but encompass every Being in Creation. One of the ultimate aims of these relationships is the kindling and expansion of love – not because love is a spiritual activity that serves life but because love suffuses life with its highest meaning and value – which entails that the motivations driving relationships ought to be rooted in the primacy of the spiritual – a primacy in which all Beings participate, whether consciously or not.
A simple and easy way to describe a relationship is to call it a connection or the state of being connected that arises after initial contact. Relationships are essentially exchanges. From these, communication, correlation, and correspondence emerge.
Some of these correlations birth conflict. Yet Christians in antagonistic relationships – relationships based on little more than conflict – can remain aligned with God and Creation if they recognize, honor, and respect the primacy of the spiritual and the spiritual essence of the enemy -- even if, or especially if, the enemy rejects, opposes, or denies this primacy and essence.
Thus, a man can still love his enemy while fighting against him.
Loving one’s enemy is not the same as denying one has enemies. Loving one’s enemy entails accepting the existence of hostility. Some Beings, men, or forces simply must be opposed; some relationships will inevitably be hostile!
Yet a God-aligned man rejects the temptation to hate the man he is fighting even while submerged in the deepest hostilities.
He may declare the man an enemy and fight him tooth and nail with everything he has at his disposal, but he will never lose sight of the spiritual essence of his enemy.
He might even kill the enemy, but he never aims to spiritually destroy.
He knows the enemy may kill him, but also knows that his death is not spiritual destruction.
He knows only he can spiritually destroy himself.
In the end, he recognizes the enemy as a fellow Being in Creation and, thus, yearns and prays for the enemy’s salvation.
Note: H/T to Wm Jas who once shared the "loving your enemies does not mean you don't have enemies" insight via a comment somewhere on this blog.